How are churches raising funds for their pledges?
Download a PDF of ideas and see ideas below.
Put the pledge amount in the operating budget. Some churches have decided to make a pledge out of their operating budget. If your church's 2008 budget has already been determined without the pledge in it, consider doing a fund-raiser in 2008 to cover the first installment of the five-year pledge and then work the pledge into the budget starting in 2009. Some churches have had a few individuals who will give half of the suggested tithe pledge and the church will budget the remainder. Others have decided to defer their first pledge installment until 2009, when they know it can be properly budgeted for.
Create a committee that is in charge of raising the funds for the campaign. Consider pulling together a variety of individuals that "think outside the box" and ask them to brainstorm, develop and execute a plan that will ensure the church meets the pledge responsibilities over the five-year period. This puts the fund-raising in the hands of the laity and supported by the pastor for not only financial success but also provides an opportunity for laity leadership.
Educate top givers. Using the resources the campaign office can provide, make a presentation to top givers and ask them to help supplement your church's tithe goal. The campaign director would be happy to help churches plan such a presentation and/or make the presentation.
Roll the suggested tithe goal into a church's capital campaign. Some churches that are having capital campaigns of their own in 2008-2009 have decided to tithe 10 percent of what they raise to go toward the "Bridges to the Future" capital campaign.
Create a pledge drive within the church. This has been a popular way for individuals to get involved in their church's pledge process. Some have created pledge cards and/or giving envelopes; others have used a modified version of the Bridge's pledge card that is available through the campaign office. A successful way of doing this for one church was purchasing inexpensive, colored envelopes and then printing a "Bridges to the Future" logo on it with three ways for givers to participate, i.e. $5 per month, $15 per month or $25 per month. The colored envelopes stand out in the pews and in the offering plate.
While there is a variety of ways that churches can do a pledge drive, one church has created various levels of giving such as a "suspension bridge" level that church members could agree to give $50 per quarter and a "cover bridge" level that would give $25 per quarter and so on. Developing a simple pledge card to be used internally in the church, promoting the pledge drive and educating church members about the ministries of "Bridges to the Future" can create a strong campaign that can "bridge" any concerns of a financial gap.
Offer a yearly or quarterly Bridges celebration. Over the next five years, one church is setting aside a Sunday out of the year to feature, celebrate and fund the Bridges ministries. They plan to sing camp songs, roast marshmallows and have a family camp out. All who participate will give a donation toward the pledge their church made for the Bridge's campaign. The following year, they will have a tailgate party and invite everyone to wear their favorite collage apparel as they learn about campus ministries from testimonies from students and a presentation from a campus minister while challenging participants to make donations to see which "school" gives the most toward the campaign.
Another church has done something similar each quarter and made it timely with the calendar, such as campus ministry in the fall, camping in the summer, etc. There are many wonderful resources in the conference and speakers for Camp Chippewa, campus ministry and Church Growth and Development. Contact the campaign office or the conference office for more information on this. Speakers are proving to be a great way to increase donations in churches.
Create a "Bridge Fund." A small church that quickly agreed that it was important to support these ministries had a crafty member that made a small wooden bridge arching across the neck of a jar to collect donations. The jar is displayed next to a poster that educates church members about a variety of ways their donations into the jar can touch the lives of those involved in campus ministries, attending Camp Chippewa, starting new churches and revitalizing existing congregations. Someone else in the church volunteered to rotate the information on the poster to continue to educate. Another agreed to collect and count the money. As a team, they are creating a bridge fund to cover their pledge to the "Bridges to the Future."
How are churches paying their " Bridges to the Future" pledge?
There are as many ways for churches to pay their pledge as there are churches that will be pledging. Below is a list of things that as Campaign Director I've heard discussed by churches: